Every year I feel obliged to photograph snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), I suppose because they are among the very first flowers of the new season and have a chilly, but cheerful, elegance.
They are not thought to be a native species in the British Isles and they rarely seem to grow far away from houses, roadsides or streamsides here in East Sussex. The first record in the wild was not until 1778, but they were known in cultivation well before that.
It has been suggested that snowdrops were the source of the magical herb called 'moly' used by Odysseus to protect him against Circe's spells and there is much of the usual folklore associated with well-known plants.
Once the flowers have faded they leaves follow quite quickly and I find it quite poignant that when spring is really getting going the snowdrop is retiring from the world for another season.